Written by Yasmine Yohannes

Having an HOA playground in your community allows kids to have fun and exercise. It also allows parents to entertain their children without leaving their neighborhood. It is an excellent opportunity for kids to make friends. Parents can also meet other residents and get to know them. All of this strengthens ties in a community. 

Regularly maintaining and inspecting the play area is essential to ensure the children’s safety. The board should enforce rules and foster best practices to avoid risks and misusage. It is very important that it is properly maintained so that children can play safely.

Discover our 5 tips to help you make the most of your HOA playground.  

Know the law

If you don’t have an HOA playground yet, but you’re planning to build one, the first step is to check state and federal law. Knowing the law will help you be compliant from the beginning. Your governing documents should also have provisions on common areas, so make sure to check them. The best way to ensure compliance and avoid liability issues is to hire an HOA attorney. They will be able to answer all of your questions and tell you the right way to proceed. They can also advise you on the type of insurance that best covers homeowners associations. 

If you already have an HOA playground, checking your governing documents is an essential step. Since the members of the board of directors change frequently, all members should be on the page. It is also important to revise your insurance documents regularly. You need to ensure that nothing becomes obsolete and that you are still well covered. It is also the opportunity to check if you are paying a fair rate and if you are insured in case of natural disasters. 

Communicate the rules

Communication is essential to avoid any issues. Every member of the community should be aware of usage rules. As a board member, you should inform new homeowners when they move in. You also need to regularly remind residents, so they remember them. A good time to do so is when seasons change. For example, people tend to spend more time outside when summer arrives. So you will probably have more kids using outdoor play. When temperatures get colder, and rain or snow is involved, you should remind the community to be extra cautious to avoid accidents. 

The best way to inform residents is to use different HOA communication tools . Telling members through a newsletter is a great idea. But not everyone will  read it, so you should also use other channels such as emails or SMS.

Put up rules and safety signs

As you should know, prevention is better than cure. Warning people with clear signs with the rules and safety notices will help them act appropriately in your HOA’s playground. It also protects the board if there is an accident, as you have been responsible in sharing rules of use. When kids and parents are having a fun time, they may forget about basic safety rules. Having signs as a reminder can make all the difference.

For example, if pets aren’t allowed in the play area, then you need to make it clear. New residents or guests may not know about this. If pets are allowed, make sure to add a poster to remind everyone to clean up after them. The place needs to be clean and enjoyable for kids and caregivers.

A sign that is often present in recreational areas is one that states that all children must be supervised. We also recommend having a poster that includes important emergency phone numbers. If an accident does happen, the parent or guardian will know which number to call. You can also have a notice with  first aid tips for common playground accidents .

Apply preventive maintenance

Applying preventative maintenance is essential to prevent hazards and avoid costs. It consists of performing regular checks to spot issues early on and starting repairs before they pose a threat and become expensive to fix. 

“Every dollar you spend on preventative maintenance, you could pay up to 4 dollars for corrective maintenance” Ricardo Moncada, Chief Consultant at RMS

It also means that you of review vendors’ services and contracts regularly. For HOA playgrounds, you would probably have to deal with the following suppliers:

Playground equipment builder Cleaning services Inspection services Landscaping services

You would need to assess the service quality of these vendors and ensure you are paying a fair rate. 

Preventative maintenance helps you manage your HOA assets effectively and build reserves for future repairs. It is the role of the HOA board or community association manager to apply preventative maintenance for common areas. But everyone in the community should be involved.

It is essential to provide an easy way for residents to notify management when they see something odd in the playground. 

An HOA app with a maintenance request feature is the best way for residents to send a request and add a picture immediately when they spot an issue. It helps reduce the board’s workload and makes the community a safer place for all.

Do regular inspections

Preventative maintenance goes hand in hand with regular inspections.  Checking your HOA playground frequently helps you assess its current condition. Here’s what you need to look for:

Equipment defects and deterioration Ground material condition Insect nests (bees, ants, or others) Cleanliness

Inspections increase children’s safety and reassure parents and caregivers. The board should schedule frequent inspections for their community’s common areas. They can even create a committee to take care of it. Also, using a seasonal checklist can help the board keep track of what they should be focusing on at that moment.. 

CTA – seasonal checklists

Regular inspections can be carried out by the board or your manager with the help of inspection software to generate a report that should be stored. , Playgrounds should also be inspected annually by an independent specialist.

As mentioned above, you should use a maintenance and inspection app to keep track of your maintenance and inspection activity. It allows you to insert information and pictures when conducting an inspection and generates automatic reports. 

Documenting your inspection process helps you be more transparent and efficient. Everyone involved in the process gets clear information. It also makes it easier when there is a board or management compan y  transition.

Wrapping up: HOA playground

An HOA playground brings the community together. It strengthens social ties and encourages physical activity. In a world where sedentarism is becoming the new norm, having this area could make all the difference in your association. To ensure good practices, make sure to communicate efficiently with residents. Apply preventive maintenance and inspect your outdoor play area regularly. Check your governing documents and ask for advice from an HOA attorney if needed.

Lastly, HOA software can help you inform everyone about usage rules. It can also allow residents to notify the board when they notice something odd. 

Vinteum provides reliable and secure online solutions for property management. Our software, Neigbrs by Vinteum is an all-in-one platform for HOAs, condos and property management companies. It simplifies daily tasks and makes communication with residents easier. Our new app, Inspections by Vinteum, has all the features you need to conduct efficient inspections and generate automatic reports. 

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